Eliminate Distractions: 4 of 4
We’ve talked about Step 1 in the process of eliminating distractions: What is distracting you, and what type of distraction is it. You have the What’s Bugging You? worksheet to help you with this step.
We’ve been talking about Step 2 and creating strategies to eliminate distractions. So far, we’ve covered things, events, and other people’s behaviors. You have the D3 Worksheet to help you plan your strategies.
Eliminate Self-Created Distractions
Completing Step 2 is to eliminate the distractions caused by your own behavior. In coaching terms, this is about standards you hold for yourself. To eliminate the things you put up with in yourself, you create higher standards of behavior for yourself.
Are you often late for appointments? What happens to you when you arrive late? You’re distracted by having to settle in. You disturb the flow of conversation already underway. You have to scramble to catch up as to what’s already happened in the meeting.
Not only is this an energy drain for you, but it’s also disrespectful to the other people at the meeting.
Raise Your Standards
Let’s stay with arriving late for meetings. To raise your standards, you decide to arrive early for every appointment, giving you a couple of advantages: You have space to relax and do any final mental preparation before others arrive. You get your choice of seats and the best donut on the plate.
If it’s a behavior you’re not willing to change at this time, let it go. Stop losing energy over it and being distracted. When the time is right, and you’re ready, put that behavior back on your list and Do It.
You can’t delegate raising your own standards, but you can get help. If exercise is something you want to add, hire a trainer or get a friend to do it with you. You still have to do the work, but you’ll have support.
Raising Standards Means Creating New Habits
Have you heard it takes 21 days to create a new habit? Guess again. A study from University College in London determined it takes an average of 66 days.
Change never happens quickly. Allow yourself to grow into the new desired behavior. What you need is a commitment to change, patience, and practice.
Be kind to yourself. Allow the change to happen. Be conscious of your behavior. Remind yourself what you want. If you find yourself slipping and remember your reward: Regaining control of your time and your life.
Step 3: Take Action
The final step in the process is to take the action you’ve decided best for you. Simple, right? It’s 1, 2, 3:
- Identify and type what’s distracting you
- Select the strategy for eliminating the distraction
- Take the action
I’ve used this very same process for over 20 years with clients and for myself. I know it works and guarantee, if you put the strategies into practice, you’ll:
- Find you have more time to be productive at work.
- Leave the office with a clean inbox.
- Have more time with friends, family, or whatever’s important to you.
Just remember it’s a process and will take time. And tackle only one thing at a time – you can’t do it all at once. But you’ll get better as you go along. Ultimately, you’ll find you live in a Bug-Free Zone©, and you no longer allow distractions to occur. You eliminate them as soon as you recognize what they are.
And ask for help if you need it. Join a Bug-Free Zone© or a mastermind group. And download a copy of It’s Not the Bears That Will Get You: It’s the Bugs for a thorough description of the process to eliminate distractions.